Danish technology can solve the problem of analgesic misuse  

2008.07.07
Biotech firm Egalet is developing analgesic formulations to overcome the ease of access to the drug in the tablet, which is one of the reasons for growing levels of abuse in countries like the US
New figures presented at a recent conference of the American Pain Society indicate that over 30 million Americans have misused painkilling drugs at some point in their lives, and that the problem is particularly acute among teenagers where over 1 in 5 have made attempts to get high using analgesics, reports national daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende.
 
America's problems with opioid analgesic medications became particularly apparent some 10 years ago when the widespread abuse of drugs like oxycodone (commonly known as "hillbilly heroin") started hitting the headlines. Simply crushing tablets and sniffing the powder often produced the desired effects, which in itself pointed to the central problem for the health authorities – it was too easy for abusers to access the opioid drug in the tablet.
 
Now the Danish biotech company Egalet has found a solution to the problem of too-easy access. Using  proprietary technologies, the company is developing sustained-release opioid treatments for chronic pain management that are pretty well impossible to misuse. Neither crushing, heating, attempting to dissolve or other creative forms of interference will release the drug from the matrix that holds it.
 
According to Egalet's director Peter Nordkild, the US authorities have responded very positively to Egalet's communication that its tablets are misuse-resistant. Egalet currently has a portfolio of four analgesic drugs under development, of which the most advanced is in phase II testing. The earliest this candidate drug could reach the market is 2012, if all goes well.
 
Link > Egalet  

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